“Beautiful losers” was the phrase Sam Francis borrowed from Leonard Cohen to sum up the failure of the American conservative movement.  Beautiful or not, American conservatives have been losers from their movement’s inception, and the same can be said for every conservative movement since the French Revolution and going back at least to the Enlightenment, which began the revolution against all things decent, honorable, and true.

Younger conservatives, when they begin to butt their heads against reality, wonder what they have got themselves into.  Over the past 30 years, conservative Republicans have been defeated in every significant contest, and their party has consistently betrayed its constituents.

Some of these young conservatives have been foolish enough to ask me, “Why do we always lose?”  I could give them a dozen answers, each based on the venality, stupidity, dishonesty, and cowardice of the senior-class presidents who grow up to be Republican politicians, but the same charges would as soon stick to leftist Democrats as to conservative Republicans.

Just look at the Clintons.  Hillary does not even try to tell the truth, but, once she has invented a whopper—whether about Bill’s women or Benghazi—she generally sticks to it without a lot of useless factual detail that can be fatal to any great lie.  Following her husband’s example, she simply looks into the camera and lies.  There is no point in even asking her about the millions the Clintons have been given by Marc Rich, sprung by the President 15 years ago, or the billion Rich has pledged to one of the Clintons’ foundation scams.  She’d simply tell her followers that Rich is a great-hearted philanthropist and denounce critics as antisemites.

Then why, if leftists are as corrupt and stupid as conservatives, do they win all the time?  The answer is simple: They actually believe in the principles they profess; indeed, they believe more deeply than they are willing to say out loud.  Bernie Sanders is no more committed as a socialist than Mrs. Clinton or the other leaders of their party, but poor Bernie is naive enough to admit the truth.  These people have breathed in the toxins of revolution all their lives, and, virtuous or corrupt, they are implementing the articles of their faith.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are only progressive leftists dressed up in the leisure suits and Mao jackets discarded by Jerry Brown.  Their most basic principles are indistinguishable from those of Paine and Robespierre, Abraham Lincoln and Norman Thomas: Build up a powerful national state on the ruins of family, community, and church, and, in the words of Marx and Engels, eliminate every natural bond between man and man in the name of democracy and equality, leaving, first, only “naked self interest” and “callous ‘cash payment,’” and ultimately only a vast bureaucracy of wealth-sucking busybodies.

Yes, of course, conservative politicians advocate the free market—while doing their best to promote transnational corporations that have put half the globe’s income into the pockets of 16 people—and they talk endlessly of the family values they refuse to abide by.  They love to attack Bill Clinton as a womanizer, but prefer not to mention his conservative counterpart Newt Gingrich.  And, for 40 years, conservatives have distinguished themselves from leftists on the equality principle by advocating “equality of opportunity,” which most of them now extend to “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,” or, rather, shores, because, since a plaque containing that socialist graffito was mounted in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the wretched refuse has been coming from everywhere but Europe.  The Liberty Bell is now a dinner bell: Come and get it!

So every four years, the motley flock of Republican sheep—Southern patriots, evangelical Protestants, pro-life Catholics—are rounded up and put in pens to be fleeced by the shearers of their choice.  They are forever bleating: Don’t vote for Ross Perot or Pat Buchanan or George Wallace or Donald Trump, because he can’t win.  It is much better to support the next Paul Ryan.

Like any decently brought-up American, I have little use for people like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, but, like any decently brought-up American, I say, “God bless them for even pretending to care enough about our children’s future to speak of curtailing illegal immigration and excluding Muslims.”  That there should be any discussion of this—much less angry opposition—reveals how far to the left conservative politicians have allowed this country to be steered.

This time around, it looks as if the Trotskyists are winning.  No more nonsense about socialism or state capitalism in one country.  The destiny of the United States is to foment global revolution.  Madame Clinton will have us bear any burden, pay any price, to liberate women from the hijab, while flooding the country with violent men who will mutilate and kill their women if they uncover their faces, and the conservatives will be content to wring their hands and complain that she is going too far too fast.

My old friend Sam was too kind.  If these losers are beautiful, it is only because they are on the same side as the liberal elite my boss Leopold Tyrmand once described as “the ugly beautiful people.”  Today, the same might be said of the professional fifth columnists who have too long monopolized conservative politics.